The families say the land rightfully belongs to them.
Some families in Ibadan have dragged the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and two of his commissioners to court over the state government’s refusal to release to their land earlier acquired by the Federal government.
At the hearing of the suit on Wednesday, counsel to the applicants, O. A. Abiose, from Afe Babalola’s chambers, told the court that the land had been released to the families by the federal government, adding that rather than allow the rightful owner to take possession, the state government had been preventing them.
He said the land was released through a letter dated July 2012 with reference number LH/LA/62/Vol.1/102 from the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development through the Office of the State Governor.
The families, which include traditional rulers, are asking the court to declare them the original owners of the land worth N16 billion, and covering 404.74 acres at Idi-Ishin, Alalubosa area of the state capital.
They are also asking the court to declare that “by virtue of the de-acquisition of the land by the Federal Ministry of Lands through the governor in the letter, the land automatically reverts to the claimants’ families”.
In the suit brought before Justice Gboye Gbolagunte of the Oyo State High Court, the claimants say that “the failure of Ajimobi, his Attorney General and Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Survey to release the land is illegal and unlawful”.
They further sought the court’s protection in issuing an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants, their agents and or privies from taking any steps or doing anything on the piece or parcel of land measuring approximately 404.74 acres.
Pleading on behalf of his clients, counsel to the defendants, Najeem Abiola, urged the court to grant him adjournment to enable him file necessary papers.
But counsel to the claimants asked the court to make the defendants’ lawyer sign an undertaking that his clients would not tamper with the land before the new date.
The judge adjourned till March 21 for hearing.